Reality Czeck | Moonlight Brewing Company

289 Ratings
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Brewed by:
Moonlight Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Czech Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-22-2005

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Ratings: 289 |  Reviews: 146
Photo of dgilks
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Toronado SF.

Clear pale golden colour with a small head and nice lacing. Poor head retention.

Light spicy hop aroma with mild pilsner malts.

Smooth, light grainy malt with a hint of spice. Moderate herbal bitterness.

Medium-light body with moderately-high carbonation. Solid.

A very good Czech pilsner with good flavour and balance.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reality Czeck has a crisp, golden body that has lots of active, fast moving carbonation bubbles in it. The head is about two fingers tall, and it is creamy and solid looking. Retention and lacing are both very good.

The aroma mixes pale malts with lots of hops. Lemongrass, a touch of skunk and the promise of bittnerness.

This is a very good, hoppy czech pilsner. The hops do most of the work, with lemongrass, grass in general, and a little bit of earthiness. The bitterness is palpable, but not unwelcome. Underneath the hops is a great pale malt base that plays a complimentary role but is still quite good. Cracker and a good bit of grain. Although they take center stage, both the hops and the bitterness are not as aggressive as many American brewed pilsners are, but I suspect that German Pilsners are more likely to have more hops in them.

The mouthfeel is great. Expansive, full, creamy.

After a long flight, it was great to grab a ccouple of these on tap while I had a snack. A very nice Czech pils.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Served a fairly clear golden-yellow color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down slowly leaving behind lots of lace.

S - The aroma is a mix of light lemon, corn, bready yeast, and just a touch of hops. Really nice balance here.

T - Starts off with a mix of light lemon flavor and some bready yeast flavor. There is just a bit of corn that comes in soon after. Through the middle, a touch of hops comes through and the yeast flavor grows a bit. The finish is a mix of lemon, corn, and yeast that lingers nicely.

M - Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation. The beer feels super smooth and very crisp. The finish is really clean and very refreshing.

D - Super drinkable. This has set the new bar for Pilsners in my mind. The balance here is fantastic and all of the flavors really build on each other to create an excellent beer.

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Photo of treyrab
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Took a trip out to San Francisco to swim Alcatraz and while there made sure to stop in and get a pint of this on tap at Toronado. After a long walk down the psychedelic Haight Street, we strolled in here through the double doors.

A: Reality Czeck pours a clear golden bronze with a nice foamy white head. Look is similar to a Prima Pils, but perhaps a few SRMs darker. Very clear, and nice and cold such that it starts to fog the class. The head sticks around, but does not lace. Active carbonation throughout.

S: The smell is lively with toasted grains, some underlying Saaz, and a touch of corn. Nice and light smelling, and the true scent comes from the grains. Very grainy, but not as hoppy as I was expecting. Pretty plain, with a clean Czech lager yeast scent.

T: Very nice and smooth European Lager. This is very balanced and thirst quenching on a hot San Francisco day. The grainy character is there again in the taste, and really overpowers the hop presence. When I think of good American lagers I think of Prima Pils, Stoudts, and Pikeland. Primarily because those have a nice German/Czech spicy hop character. I was missing that in Reality Czeck.

Overall, a very well done lager. This could gain gratefully with the addition of a few more spicy, grassy hops, but very well done throughout nonetheless.

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Photo of biegaman
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Toronado, in San Francisco.

Its immaculate body awash in soft strokes of gold, its head pristine white and ultra-fleecy, like a big cotton ball, leaving a lacing that looks like a massive tidal wave frozen in motion against the side of the glass. Well that's an easy 5. No two ways about it.

Smelling this pilsner you instantly understand what beer geeks have against the big commercial breweries: adjunct corn and light-struck skunkiness have no business in this style. Unlike mass-produced so-called pilsners, there's nothing unpleasant about this scent of clean, bread-like, cereal graininess nor, for that matter, the earthy hops that balances it out.

Any mainstream lager drinker will know instantly what they've been missing. This beer is plenty easy-going and approachable, and with a relatively light body, but its cereal graininess is replete with bready-sweet flavour. There's no ants at this picnic - just clean, pure, wholesome, high-quality malts that have a gripping earthy hoppiness for a sidekick.

Hops aren't tasted so much as felt; a brittle but pungent bitterness breaks over the palate like benign, warm-water waves brushing the shoreline. The soapiness of those hops, as they fade into the aftertaste, leaves a colourful postcard to remember them by. But it's not too strong. Have a pint and see first hand why yellow lagers became so popular the world over.

While it may be the best pilsner brewed this side of the Atlantic (or should I say Pacific?) I think part of the acclaim it receives stems from the unfortunate fact that this clean, agreeable - yet uncompromising - kind of pilsner is so often dishonored, and dishonored so badly, that many overlook the fact that this hoppy but easy beer is just simply what a pilsner is.

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Photo of samie85
3.62/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes; originally 6/9/11.

A-A very clear golden color with a finger of white foam in a pint glass... I've seen this one before.

S-Lemon and spicy hop notes with light and bready malt notes.

T-Light, bready malt notes with some tart and bitter lemon on the finish.

M-Light side of medium bodied with ample carbonation and a prickly slightly drying feel.

D-A very easy drinking beer that I wouldn't mind having regular access to; however, I don't see what all the fuss is about with this beer as I've had other Czech pilseners that were equal or better than this one.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Toronado, SF. Poured into a pint glass.

4.0 A: Lightly hazed golden wheat color. Came with half a finger of frothy white head. Decent retention and a decent amount of lacing to accompany.

4.0 S: Fresh spring water. Lightly yeasty. Grainy with grassy hops.

4.0 T: A good bit more bitter than the average for the style, but not overly so. Mix of grainy and bready malts. Earthy hop flavor.

3.5 M: Medium to heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Much thicker than I would have imagined and perhaps a touch chewy. I actually would have liked this to be a bit lighter and crispier.

4.0 D: I never thought I'd want a lighter, "less filling" body on a pilsner, but apparently that's what I want. Good taste and overall good beer though.

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Photo of starrdogg
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to billab914 for this bottle. 22 oz. bottle counter pressure filled from a keg.

A: Appearance is pretty standard pilsner fare. It's a slightly cloudy yellowish gold with a fluffy white head. The carbonation is great, and tons of bubbles are shooting through this one. Looks like it held up just fine in the bottle.

S: It's actually got a pretty nice aroma for a pilsner, it's mostly grassy and herbal with a little bit of lemon in there.

T: I gotta say, I was a little skeptical about a pilsner's ability to really shine above the rest, but the flavor here truly succeeds. It's got a little bit of lemon/citrus flavor up front with some grassiness in the middle and a mild hop bite in the finish. There's actually a little bit of complexity here, something I'm kinda shocked by.

M: Medium-bodied with great carbonation to tickle the tongue. Perfect for the style.

O: This is a hell of a beer, I have to say. It's a great, refreshing summery beer, but with a little more complexity than your run-of-the-mill pilsner. I wish I had regular access to this because I'd drink it all summer long.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.91/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


A: Served a dark yellow that wasn’t quite gold with a dense eggshell white head that faded to lace.
S: Crackery malt with some light notes of spicy hops and bread. Not explosive but it smells great.
T: Oh man, this blew me away. I’ve never had a pilsner taste this good (but to be fair I haven’t had a ton of them). It’s creamy, crakery, bready, pale and has a light earthy hop flavor. There is just so much flavor to this and I wasn’t expecting that.
M: Thicker than I thought it would be with a super creamy and soft mouthfeel. There is no bitterness.
O: I went back to this beer again and again throughout the night and would drink this every day if I could. Impressively well done.

EDIT: Had to get a keg of this for my wedding. Everyone loved it and so did I. One of the best pilsners on the market.

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Photo of billab914
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz counter pressure filled bottle from a keg. Poured into my Schlafly kolsch glass. It poured a hazy, light golden color with a full, foamy, bright white head to it. Nice head retention as I drank it as well.

The aroma has a bright citrusy zest to it. I get some lemony flavors mixing with some grassy, herbal hop flavors. I get a slight tart citrus flavor to it as well. Some biscuty, grainy malts come through to give it a sweet, bready flavor. Very flavorful aroma for the style and alcohol content.

The taste starts out with more of the zesty, lemony citrus flavor. Midway more of the bready, grainy flavor starts to come out. In the finish I get more of an herbal, grassy, slightly tart citrus flavors coming out of the hoppiness along with a nice balancing bitterness.

The mouthfeel is light with carbonation being above average. Overall it was a very good beer of the style. I found it very flavorful and balanced. It wasn't a beer that blew me away with flavors, but it was probably the best version of the style I've had. Very solid beer overall, easy drinking as well as flavorful. Rating with style in mind definitely gives this one a little boost in my scores since as I said, it's probably the best of the style I can remember having.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.59/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Toronado in San Francisco. A good pilsener is one of me favourite styles of beer, so I was very excited to try the top-rated example here on BA.

Pours a bright and slightly hazed straw yellow colour. Head is fine, leaving excellent white and intricate lace, that starts as sheets down the glass. Light body with some fine carbonation. Looks very good, and very stylistically true.

Nose is disappointingly bland. Grainy for the most part, giving a pilsner grain backbone to which nothing else connects. A little vegetative bit, but minimal depth of character.

Taste is grainy, again—the pilsener grain character is pronounced, but it feels like it's all it has going for it. Otherwise, a slight funk of frozen peas, minimal bitterness and no fragrant hoppiness. It's crisp and drinkable, but still rather bland.

Light and drinkable, but also very standard, and rather uninspiring. It's fair to say I was deeply disappointed with this beer, being nothing more than a middle-of-the-road pils. As far as I'm concerned, New Zealand has the jump on this style nowadays—Croucher and Emersons far outstrip this one.

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Photo of nataku00
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a 12 oz straight sided glass. Pours a clear pale yellow, that sparkles in the sunlight. A half a finger of loose foam white head quickly dissipates to some light haze and a few bubbles along the collar, leaving a few wisps of light lacing as you drink from the glass. Plenty of small slow bubbles floating up to the top visible in the beer.

Very aromatic for such a low abv beer. Well bittered with fresh cut grass, herbal (parsley and rosemary), and floral hops, rounded out by a light biscuit and fresh baked white bread malt backbone. Just nicely hoppy coming out of the glass though, more aromatic than a few other pilsners I've tried recently.

Taking a sip, greeted by a nice bitterness from the hops, much more earthy herbs and floral on the tongue, with a hint of fresh cut grass and pine needles as a compliment. Some light biscuit malt sweetness finishes off the tongue. After swallowing, the floral and herbal hops continue to linger for several minutes, almost as long as a heavily hopped IPA.

Light bodied with ample soft small bubble carbonation helps keep the tongue clean and crisp. Very refreshing, especially having this after a barrel aged beer. It was able to wash away the rich beer I had previously, and replace it with plenty of its hops in the lingering finish. Too bad this is only on tap, but this should go very well with lighter fare food.

This might replace Death & Taxes as my favorite Moonlight beer. Full of flavor without needing higher abv to accomplish it.

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Photo of craytonic
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pour is a near-clear pale lemon gold with a light chill haze, decent head and lacing.

Smell: I was expecting it to be crisp but it was a bit muddled. Slightly earthy, perhaps ozone is what I am getting.

Taste: Again, a slightly muddled. Sadly didn't bring back memories of my trip to the Prague. Nice balance with the hops, well done. Slight metallic taste to the finish.

Mouthfeel: Nice, creamy and light. Shines here.

Overall/Drinkability: Great session beer, was our first beer for the night.

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Photo of spycow
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Sean and the Chicago crew for saving me some from last night's tasting. Growler opened up with a nice hiss...a great sign that its still fresh! Light bright golden color with nice carbonation and minimal lacing. Floral, grainy and hay like much better than any of the Czech pilseners I've had. Taste is very flavorful for the style getting some floral and slight citrus notes in the finish. Very drinkable, light and refreshing. They are getting everything out this style that definitely lives up to its top rating. What a great beer to be able to drink on a hot summer day. Would love try this again fresh off the tap. Definitely a recommend!!

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Photo of AgentZero
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler thanks to Sean da Man, who supposedly flipped a Veritas 000 for this.

A - Big white head with a clear yellow body. Nice bubbles going to the top. Good retention with a little bit of lace.

S - Really nice malts with some grass and a faint touch of lager yeast. Couple of different things going on, wish I knew pilsners better to pick out what was going on.

T - Nice hops with grainy malts and a slight amount of bitter hop finish (noble). Malts are appropriately sweet with a fairly complex pilsner taste. Unfortunately I just haven't had enough of this style to accurately speak of what is going on, but it's pretty good.

M - Light, crisp, refreshing, carbonated.

O - Best pilsner I've had, not to say I'd seek it out from some of my regular offerings, but it's quite good and easy to drink.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler thanks to Phung. Appreciate it, -Carl.

A - Pours a clear golden yellow, white frothy head, some spotty lacing and thin film on top with some large bubbles here and there. Good looking brew.

S - Grains, hops, hay, nice floral notes, nice malt profile, slight herbal character. Very complex for the style.

T - Grainy, hay, malts right up front followed by the slight hoppy notes. Has everything you want out of this and lots going on.

M - Light, crisp and refreshing, good carbonation.

D - Very very solid and lived up to the high expectations that I set for it. Would have again over and over. Must-try!

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Photo of jrallen34
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review number 1800!.. 32oz growler poured into my Narke tulip. Thanks to Rodney X for one of my last real top 100 ticks... This looks like great for a growler, a medium honey gold slightly murky. A great head white head with an incredibly long lasting head and good lacing. Looks great... The aroma is sweet grains and very floral, a musty hay note with a bitter finish... The taste is really good, the best czech pils I've had. Light sweet hay on the front with a floral finish.

Great for the style but not an elite beer, really glad I got to tick it.

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Photo of afksports
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's often difficult to review a style you don't love, but starting the day with a Moonlight Czech Pils on tap at Toronado makes me quickly forget that. (It could have been the Parabola that made me forget, to be honest).

The appearance is prototypically pils, with a deep straw hue that sustains good lacing throughout the glass and yields a half finger head at the start of it. The nose didn't offer many malt notes to me, besides a bready character, but as a pilsener it needs to do two things in my book: floral/herbal hops, and water. It does both well in the nose, and continues that in the taste. That taste has a great but not overdone hop character that starts bitter and biting, carries through with citrus in the middle that brings out the bready malts, and finishes with a bitter bite that's incredibly clean.

The mouth, even on a light beer like this, manages to be almost medium-bodied, and the carbonation really helps this one. Not just that, but it is supremely drinkable and not at all drying.

This one really set the stage for drunken stumbling out of Toronado, which I think is just about right when you only get to go there once on a vacation.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


Finally, a growler of Reality Czech. We never see this in San Diego. Thanks! It only seems fitting to pour this into my Moonlight pint glass. This pint glass has never been so satisfied.

A: Perfectly transparent burnished straw gold with a monstrous soapy white head. Retention is outstanding, and the head takes five minutes to recede in a cavernous fashion, revealing patches of liquid. Great Brussels lace.

S: Complex malt with grainy and bready notes complemented by a spicy hop presence. The Saaz bouquet is floral, with faint grassy and herbal notes. The malt lays the foundation, but the hops really shine. Clean, with no fruity esters. A faint diacetyl presence appears in the background. Outstanding.

T: Spicy hops with a moderate soft and rounded bitterness, and a subtle sulfur note. Malt is grainy and lightly bready. The finish is well balanced, crisp, dry, and clean.

M: Upper light to lower medium in body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is crisp and dry.

Overall: Delicious and amazingly drinkable. A rare treat.

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Photo of CliffBrake
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Monks' Kettle

A pretty golden color, crystal clear with a fine bead and a lasting head that leaves good lacing.

The aroma is herbal and nutty. The flavor is somewhat subdued compared to some pilsners I have enjoyed. It is somewhat spicy with a pronounced bitterness that lingers.

Perhaps not as balanced as it could be, and although quite tasty, it leaves me thinking about what I will try next. Perhaps that is the peril of being included on such an awesome tap list as the Monks Kettle has.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of my #1 beer series, the supposedly best Czech lager, according to this website. Served on draft at Flavor Bistro, served in a 16 ounce Moonlight Brewing company imperial pint glass.

Beer is yellow with a decent head on it, leaves some lacing behind. Head is made up of a thin monolayer of tiny bubbles and bigger, stray, medium and large bubbles that gravitate toward the edges and pop. Carbonation is moderate and steady.

Aroma is weak but it smell exactly like I expect it to, sweet pilsen malt aroma, no hint of yeast or sulfur.

Beer is light in body and served way too damn cold IMO. I wait and warm it up a little but get impatient. Shame on you Flavor, shame. Beer is mildly sweet up front and has moderate carbonation on the palate and finishes cleanly without being too dry. This was a high quality DONG tick for me and while I really appreciate the simplicity of this beer and it is done well, I can't think of anything that makes it special. Its not bittered, its just a classic example of the style, it embodies what a Czech pils is about. I'd have it again but I won't go out of my way for it again. Solid all around.

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Photo of plaid75
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Flavor Bistro, Santa Rosa, CA.

Poured a hazy medium straw hue with a one and a half finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light biscuity malt and vibrant noble hop spice.

The taste consisted of competing forces of grainy yet soft pilsner malt and spicy noble hops.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a superior pils.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured clear gold with a thin veil of a head, but still leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smells malty, floral, and salty.

Sweet malt taste, floral and citrus notes, a little acidity, ends with a slightly bitter hop finish.

Body is light and carbonation is sharp, giving this a crisply refreshing mouthfeel.

Finally, a pilsener that I can actually drink!

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Photo of rudylaw
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap @ Flavor Bistro

A golden straw pour with a thin, soapy rim. Looks extremely refreshing from jump... so let's dive in!

Well, we have a Pils here... but a really good one! Light citrus with lots of grass in the nose.

Taste is similar but I pick up a twinge of floral hops there too. Extremely crisp and refreshing. Easily the best pilsner I've ever encountered. Sharp carbonation, light mouthfeel and overwhelming drinkability. This one is a winner!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at The Monk's Kettle, San Francisco on July 17, 2010.

Although I found Moonlight Brewing's Reality Czech to be a touch malty, it otherwise hit the nail right on the head. It displayed a great golden color; a perfect white froth head with good retention; a swirling aroma of spicy/floral and slightly grassy hops over gently sweetish and straw-like malt; and a solid, balancing bitterness.

Nicely done!

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Reality Czeck from Moonlight Brewing Company
4.3 out of 5 based on 289 ratings.
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